Mar 15
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The Tree Eating Insect

Ash trees are very important. They are very nice looking trees and help the economy. You might be one of the many people wondering why your tree lost its leaves so early this year. Well, the ash trees are being threatened by a bug called the emerald ash borer. They dig small holes in the tree and eat it from the inside out. These trees will be pushed to almost extinction. The ash trees have a place in the economy as well. People in Vermont who cut them for a living will be affected, as well as rural areas that have a lot of trees. That is why Vermonters need to take action.

The emerald ash borer is an invasive species of insects that is spreading through the world. According to the National Park Services, “The non-native, invasive emerald ash borer (EAB) infests ash trees and is nearly 100% fatal.” It is estimated that 99.7% of ash trees will be destroyed in the United States by the emerald ash borer. In their life they normally only travel one or two miles. People are accidentally taking them to other places in the world before nature can evolve and adapt to these bugs.

The best solution to stop the spreading of the bugs is to contain firewood. The main way that these insects are spread is through firewood. Here is my solution on how to fix this: The state that you live in will give out permits to cut wood and sell wood. It is like a driver’s license. If you want to drive yourself to work in a car you need a license. If you want cut wood for yourself you will need a license. If you live in the U.S. in order to drive a school bus you need a school bus endorsement. You need a normal driver's license too, but that is an extension on top. If you get your wood cutting license then you get a card like a drivers license saying you can sell wood, too. If you purchase wood locally then you will get a sheet of paper from the person you bought it from saying the amount of wood you got, the type, date you bought it, what state you bought it in, and the name and address of the person you bought it from so a police officer can check if they have a valid selling license. The buyer and seller will have a copy of the same receipt. The buyer doesn’t need a license. There will be restrictions like you must keep the wood in the state you got it from. If you live in Vermont you can’t take the wood over to New York. That will stop the spreading. These licenses will be completely free. They have worked for the past 118 years with fishing. It has kept the population of fish at a good amount. According to Vermont Fish and Wildlife  the amount of brook trout has gone from 700 to 1,100 per mile in the past 50 years. That is due to fishing licenses and stricter rules on keeping fish. That is also due to people being more aware of the problem and willing to change the way they keep fish in a small way. Those three things could help with the trees as well.

You could argue that it is too late to do anything now, but according to EmeraldAshBorer.info, “As of October 2018, it is now found in 35 states, and the Canadian provinces of Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Manitoba.” That leaves 15 states that aren’t being poisoned by these bugs yet. This solution could be long term or it could be short term. While the United States of America is giving out these permits they could still be researching other methods to get rid of the bugs. If they find another solution then they can get rid of the permits and allow anyone to cut wood.

In order to stop these bugs it is time to step up and  people need be more careful by making stricter rules to ensure that these trees survive for generations after us.
Bibliography:

“Ash Tree Update 2017 (U.S. National Park Service).” National Parks Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, www.nps.gov/articles/ash-tree-update.htm.

“Evaluation of Wild Brook Trout Populations in Vermont Streams.” VT Fish and Wildlife, Vermont Fish and Wildlife, 1 July 2016, vtfishandwildlife.com/sites/fishandwildlife/files/documents/Learn More/Library/REPORTS AND DOCUMENTS/FISHERIES MANAGEMENT/Statewide BKT Stream Eval 2017.pdf.

Matsoukis. “Emerald Ash Borer Information Network.” Emerald Ash Borer, www.emeraldashborer.info/.
 
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